Latest Bynum time frame: mid-Dec. to mid Jan.

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Sixers center Andrew Bynum will not return until mid-December at the earliest. (Matt Rourke/AP)

A statement by the 76ers this morning at the conclusion of their shootaround indicated that center Andrew Bynum could be available to make his debut with the team at some point between the third week of December and the middle of January.

"We know that Sixers fans are eager to see Andrew Bynum play and shine in a 76ers uniform,” Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said in the statement. “We also know that no one is more eager to see Andrew play for the Sixers than Andrew himself. He fully realizes the key contribution he can make to the team. Hopefully, that day is coming soon."

Recovering from a bone bruise to his knee, Bynum has not played for the Sixers, who acquired him in August in a four-team deal.

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Bynum received an MRI by longtime personal physician, Dr. David W. Altchek, the lead orthopedist in caring for Bynum’s knee, on Nov. 5. At that time, Altcheck extended Bynum’s return date for an additional three weeks. At that time, Altcheck also indicated to the Sixers that Bynum could immediately resume low impact exercise for two weeks.

At the end of the two-week period, Bynum will be able to condition on an “anti-gravity treadmill” for a period of three weeks.

He will be evaluated at the conclusion of this period, and if the team determines that all is fine Bynum will be able to resume normal basketball activity by approximately Dec. 10, according to the Sixers. From that point, the Sixers say Bynum would need an additional 1-4 weeks thereafter for conditioning, training and practice before being able to resume game play with significant minutes.

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